Home Sport Scotland boss Gregor Townsend torn apart for comments after Ireland Six Nations...

Scotland boss Gregor Townsend torn apart for comments after Ireland Six Nations loss

Former Scottish rugby star Colin Gregor has laid into the national team’s head coach, Gregor Townsend, for his positive assessment of Saturday’s defeat to Ireland. Scotland’s 17-13 loss confirmed a fifth Six Nations title in 11 years for the Irish, who sealed the tournament triumph in front of their home fans in Dublin.

Tries from Dan Sheehan and Andrew Porter allowed Ireland to slip intro cruise control by the time Huw Jones touched down for Scotland late on. That brought them to within four points, but Andy Farrell’s side only had a matter of minutes to hold on for Six Nations glory, and they did so successfully.

Ireland won all bar one of their Six Nations matches, with England prevailing 23-22 at Twickenham last weekend. Scotland therefore went into Saturday’s match as underdogs, and the result went according to script.

Townsend cut his defeated players some slack after the full-time whistle, telling BBC Radio Scotland: “I feel really proud. All 23 – the effort they put in today in one of the toughest environments to play in.

“To score that try and then look like we might score another try, that’s all you can ask from your team. You could see the fitness of our players and the impact of our bench. We tried at the end, and it’s a shame we couldn’t get through a few more phases.

“Our forwards did really well, Stafford McDowall carried hard at times. We probably didn’t get the rewards in the first half. It was a very close Test match until we got a man in the bin, but I’m so proud of the guys.”

The overwhelming positivity in defeat didn’t go down well with former Glasgow Warriors star Gregor, who questioned what Townsend was expecting from the Ireland showdown to be so pleased with his players.

“You just want him to be disappointed!” he told BBC Radio Scotland. “It’s still a loss. Is he proud because he was expecting to get cuffed? I can understand why he’s saying it, but is that the benchmark? Just to give them a game?

“That wasn’t a good Ireland team. That wasn’t a good Scotland performance. Yes, there was backs-against-the-wall defence, but the basic errors in attack, the things that were in their control they didn’t do all that well. The over-riding sense for me is still frustration. Their attack needs a whole heap of work.”


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